It was an amusing night for most of us. 61 minutes into the match at Upton Park, Matthew Upson brings down Daniel Sturridge in the box. Our Football Channel pundits for the night, Trevor Sinclair and Carlton Palmer, voiced their disagreements at the end of the night. Both of them felt that because Mike Dean didn’t see the incident, and the linesman had his flag up, he had no choice but to give it. He also probably noted the reactions of the West Ham players and regretted the decision. Which was probably why he made Lamps take the spot kick three times.
Trevor also makes an excellent point when he says that if Mike Dean has seen an encroachment, he should have booked them the second time it happened. Most of the players were already on yellow cards, and would have seen red had Mike Dean decided to be even pickier than he was. Both Trevor and Carlton then come to the conclusion that Mike Dean was playing for the miss to make up for what he perceives as a bad decision on his part. Which does make sense when you notice that the third time Lamps takes and scores the spot kick, there was still an encroachment by a couple of players.
For the record, it was never a penalty against West Ham. Upson got the ball with a brilliant tackle, as seen in the slow-motion replays. It wasn’t a dive by Sturridge, nor the correct decision from the linesman (Carlton Palmer was so incensed, he called them “redundant”). Mike Dean should have stood his ground and waved the appeals away. Instead, he made a bad decision, regretted it within 5 seconds, and made a fool of himself by attempting to play for the miss. Lamps, to his credit, kept his cool to score all three times. But what if Lamps had missed the second spot kick? Would Mike Dean still have blown for encroachment? How big of a debate would it have sparked?
I guess we’ll never find out.